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Small Raise, Big Trouble

February 14, 2013 by  

Small Raise, Big Trouble

Forget everything else President Barack Obama said during the State of the Union address. Forget the unfunded education mandates, the empty promises to do something for the troops. Forget the pledge to eradicate AIDS (which not even Obama can accomplish by decree). Out of the wreckage of a speech that, I would suggest, was the worst Presidential speech since Jimmy Carter “lusted in his heart” came one demand that presents a clear and present danger: The President wants to increase the Federal minimum wage to $9 per hour from its current $7.25 per hour.

In theory, a pay hike for the bottom rung of the labor ladder sounds lovely. Stock clerks, grocery baggers and other low-skilled laborers will see an extra $1.75 for each hour of work. Across the Nation, the (primarily) youngest segment of the working population will pocket an extra $70 a week, based on a 40-hour workweek. Flush with the extra scratch, they will reinvest their hard-won extra wage in our growing economy, resulting in huge increases in face piercings, tattoos and energy drinks.

And then, just as they’re ready to move forward toward a brighter economic future, emboldened by their newfound success, reality will jump up and lift their wallets. Unfortunately, the increased outlay by their respective employers won’t be covered by income (since everyone in a position to hire low-skill labor will likewise be facing higher payroll costs — not to mention Obamacare’s higher expenses). As the economy grinds to a halt due to the cracks in the foundation caused by a Federally mandated pay raise sans increases in productivity normally associated with paycheck enlargement, one of the oldest economic laws in the world will kick in: last hired, first fired.

Small businesses that scratch their way to profitability — if that — obviously can’t afford to have their newest and least-skilled employees nab a raise with no increase in work. Neither can large corporations that employ dozens, hundreds or even thousands of minimum-wage workers. While Obama draws attention to corporate profits, he ignores corporate profit margins — often the difference between real profitability and bankruptcy. Imagine the impact an extra $1.75 per hour per employee working a 40-hour workweek would have on an employer.
While Obama might argue that an economically secure minimum-wage worker would be spurred to greater workplace accomplishments, the hard reality of minimum-wage labor belies his flight of fancy. The impact of a minimum-wage hike on small business would translate fairly quickly to larger businesses. As smaller businesses laid off workers to preserve razor-thin margins, the laid-off workers would stop spending. The sudden decrease in consumer spending would translate doubly to larger businesses, where a combination of loss of customer base would be compounded by a decline in consumer confidence. (With the new guy gone, the next guy on the ladder would get pretty nervous about his own job security.) That translates to less spending by people who have jobs, creating a dangerous cycle.

Meanwhile, there’s the small matter of the workers who have managed to secure themselves raises from the current minimum-wage to, say, $9 per hour. Congratulations to them. They busted their tails for nothing; Obama just handed the new guy a raise he didn’t earn. That’s essentially Obama’s amnesty for illegal aliens translated to economics. And with that, the economy takes another hit as worker confidence declines.

Fresh from nationalizing American healthcare, Obama wants to nationalize American payrolls. And all it will cost us is $1.75 per hour — and our souls.

–Ben Crystal

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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  • Henry

    Raising the minimum wage, raises the minimum wage need to live on even higher. It creates inflation.

    • GALT

      But inflation is a “fair tax”……..I thought the liberty movement believed and were
      demanding a “fair tax”………or are you not of the “liberty movement”?

      • James

        Obama wants to give a lot of things….Where is he going to get the money? Of course people want a raise, these people think he is great to give them a raise but everybody will pay later. We can’t spend our way to prosperity

      • GALT

        Wow, that’s original……now if you only knew what money was.

        If it bothers you, how about a 1% tax on all existing derivatives……

        Since this total is 700 Trillion, that should solve the problem, provided
        you can do the math…..a 2 % tax would just about settle the national debt.

  • GALT

    Why? Do you often find sharing pointless rhetoric useful?

    This might be more useful……

    And then there are adaptive solutions……imitation, being the sincerest
    form of flattery……..why not imitate Warren Buffet………or Romney…..
    if “corporations” are people too……why be a “people”?

    This will require some “thought”, but it is not particularly difficult when one grasps
    the “benefits” of being a corp or llc…….although, this not be necessary, if anyone
    knew the law and used it…….from the above link and this little tidbit…….

    26 CFR
    § 31.3402(p)-1

    Voluntary withholding agreements.

    (a) In general. An employee and his employer may enter into an agreement under section 3402(b) to provide for the withholding of income tax upon payments of amounts described in paragraph (b)(1) of § 31.3401(a)-3, made after December 31, 1970. An agreement may be entered into under this section only with respect to amounts which are includible in the gross income of the employee under section 61, and must be applicable to all such amounts paid by the employer to the employee. The amount to be withheld pursuant to an agreement under section 3402(p) shall be determined under the rules contained in section 3402 and the regulations thereunder. See § 31.3405(c)-1, Q&A-3 concerning agreements to have more than 20-percent Federal income tax withheld from eligible rollover distributions within the meaning of section 402
    (b) Form and duration of agreement. (1) Except as provided in subdivision (ii) of this subparagraph, an employee who desires to enter into an agreement under section 3402(p) shall furnish his employer with Form W-4 (withholding exemption certificate) executed in accordance with the provisions of section 3402(f) and the regulations thereunder. The furnishing of such Form W-4 shall constitute a request for withholding.
    (ii) In the case of an employee who desires to enter into an agreement under section 3402(p) with his employer, if the employee performs services (in addition to those to be the subject of the agreement) the remuneration for which is subject to mandatory income tax withholding by such employer, or if the employee wishes to specify that the agreement terminate on a specific date, the employee shall furnish the employer with a request for withholding which shall be signed by the employee, and shall contain—

    (a) The name, address, and social security number of the employee making the request,
    (b) The name and address of the employer,
    (c) A statement that the employee desires withholding of Federal income tax, and applicable, of qualified State individual income tax (see paragraph (d)(3)(i) of § 301.6361-1 of this chapter (Regulations on Procedures and Administration)), and
    (d) If the employee desires that the agreement terminate on a specific date, the date of termination of the agreement.

    If accepted by the employer as provided in subdivision (iii) of this subparagraph, the request shall be attached to, and constitute part of, the employee’s Form W-4. An employee who furnishes his employer a request for withholding under this subdivision shall also furnish such employer with Form W-4 if such employee does not already have a Form W-4 in effect with such employer.
    (iii) No request for withholding under section 3402(p) shall be effective as an agreement between an employer and an employee until the employer accepts the request by commencing to withhold from the amounts with respect to which the request was made.

    (2) An agreement under section 3402 (p) shall be effective for such period as the employer and employee mutually agree upon. However, either the employer or the employee may terminate the agreement prior to the end of such period by furnishing a signed written notice to the other. Unless the employer and employee agree to an earlier termination date, the notice shall be effective with respect to the first payment of an amount in respect of which the agreement is in effect which is made on or after the first “status determination date” (January 1, May 1, July 1, and October 1 of each year) that occurs at least 30 days after the date on which the notice is furnished. If the employee executes a new Form W-4, the request upon which an agreement under section 3402 (p) is based shall be attached to, and constitute a part of, such new Form W-4.

    (86 Stat. 944, 26 U.S.C. 6364 ; 68A Stat. 917, 26 U.S.C. 7805 )
    [T.D. 7096, 36 FR 5216, Mar. 18, 1971, as amended by T.D. 7577, 43 FR 59359, Dec. 20, 1978; T.D. 8619, 60 FR 49215, Sept. 22, 1995

    This is the implimenting regulation for the statute 26 USC 3402, which explains
    who is required to do what……….and there is no similarity or requirement, that
    the statute reflect the regulation………

    Statutes without regulations are meaningless…….unless you give them
    meaning by being “ignorant” and believing they have power……

    No w-4, means no w-2, means no with holding of any tax, an no jurisdiction
    for any taxing authority to proceed against either party……..

    Knowledge is far more useful than mindless rhetoric, of course you do have
    to use it………..

    • GALT

      I wonder how many “employee’s” have the impression that the “employer”
      was struggling to decide whether or not the accept…the employee’s request
      to withhold?

      How can you people be so mean to these nice “employer’s” when you
      could save them all the work and expense by just not requesting it?

      Not to mention not having to make those matching contributions?

      The inconsideration of some people………

      BTW for you cool employers……are you using an accountant or tax lawyer?

      Instead of paying them…….you might want to consider suing them….just a thought.

  • BobT

    If raising the minimum wage is the way to help, let us raise it to $50/hr. or more

    • Steve E

      That’s what I say. Why make $9 when you can make $50? I say let’s make it $100 so everyone can buy an extra house on the ocean or the mountains. We can also get all the face piercings, tattoos and energy drinks we want.

  • Glen

    OK, so Obama caused much of the inflation that has occurred with his trillion+ dollar deficits. Then he says that inflation makes the increase in the minimum wage essential, all while the economy is down. So the inflation that he caused makes an increase necessary, to feed more inflation and economic loss for all of us. This looks like his real purpose is to destroy the economy – not by his ignorant tampering with it – but by intentional action. Does this begin to look like a nonsequitur?

  • Ann Anderson

    I agree with Ben. A higher minimum wage will mean fewer companies hiring and greater layoffs. I don’t believe alot of “McDonalds” type of companies will go along with $9.00 an hour. Ann – Warren, MI

    • eddie47d

      Do you agree with Ben’s assessment that minimum wage workers wouldn’t “be earning” that $9 an hour. That poverty rates should and will be the norm in America. That its okay for Corporate CEOs to pay themselves those million dollar bonuses but can’t afford a decent wage for their workers. If you haven’t noticed several years ago companies had been doing away with pension plans,health care benefits,sick leave and so forth. So wouldn’t a livable wage be at least the minimum they can provide.

      • jdangiel

        A job is worth what it is worth and should be determined by the market, not set artificially by some policy wonk disconnected from reality. There shouldn’t be a minimum wage. It doesn’t fix things anyway. It just causes costs to go up which defeats the increase. And a minimum wage that can act as a baseline minimum earnings for being a “livable” wage would only work if we had a clearly defined definition of what it is meant to support and at what level of lifestyle and if absolutely every possible cost of living was absolutely rigidly controlled so that it could not go up, thus reducing the quality of life at that level of earnings. You need to think theses through a little more before you buy into the pipe dream, comrade.

      • eddie47d

        Yes a company has many varying factors to consider in what they can pay.Its equally ridiculous to be paying $5-7 and hour if no one can live on those wages. Why bother to work if the benefits or wages keep you in a hole. Low wages keep more people eager to stay on welfare or look to food stamps to subsidize those meager wages. There should be an average balance across the board.

      • Don 2


        How about instead of just giving so much welfare and food stamps for free, to those actually capable of working, within a certain period of time, the government require them to at least find a starter job such as washing dishes, flipping burgers, trolling as liberals on Conservative websites, or some other minimum wage menial tasks? Then maybe, that would encourage them to try and better themselves, to work their way up the ladder, or acquire a better job for more pay.

    • Robert Smith

      Sure they will. It’s simply a cost of doing business. They won’t close their business.


      • momo

        Obviously Smith, you never ran a business, there are other “costs of doing business” that are effected by wages. Such as social security and withholding. If a person gets a raise, then his social security goes up, along with the employers share, the employee’s withholding also goes up. Now add all that on to the health insurance, that now must be provided, and the business’s bottom line is affected. Personnel costs run, on average, about 70 percent of a business’s expenses.

      • Tigg

        That’s exactly the problem momo, virtually no one in Obama’s inner circle, or the liberal side of the argument has ever actually ran a real business. They’ve simply worked a regular job or even worse, many have only worked in ‘public service’ … far from reality… they’re so out of touch it’s almost laughable.

      • John Mitchell

        Many if not most businesses in our country today are already on the verge of going out of business. When you artificially increase the cost of doing business they must make tough decisions. They could lay off the US citizens and switch to illegal aliens, like many business’s already have. They could raise their prices which drives up inflation. Or they could throw in the towel and go out of business. If they go out of business everyone but the business owner and his family gets to collect unemployment.

        What will happen if unemployment is raised is a mixture of all three. Businesses go under, people get unemployed, and inflation goes up. The government will claim victory by distorting the facts. They will say inflation isn’t going up because we decided not to include food, energy and housing in the basket of goods we measure inflation with. (real inflation is 9% right now) Unemployment won’t look so bad because once your unemployment benefits run out you aren’t considered unemployed anymore. (38% of all people between the ages of 18 and 30 are not employed in our nation)

        Right now we need employment for more US citizens. There is more supply of labor than there are jobs that can afford minimum wage or more. The reason there are 12 million illegal aliens in our country now is because they are filling a market niche. Driving up minimum wage will only shift more work from US citizens to illegal aliens, while driving up the cost of every thing we purchase.

  • eddie47d

    $9.00 may be too much for the consumer to handle yet Ben is the one being stupid! Young folks do have higher insurance rates to pay for and higher interest rates when they get a loan. Besides there are alot of adults living on minimum wages and have two jobs. Good old Ben always the compassionate one and such a clear one sided thinker!

    • Chuck S

      Is it better to not/never get a job because the minimum wage is too high? I heard 40 years ago that minimum wage increases generally increase unemployment, especially among teen-agers and black people, and especially among black teen-agers. I think the unemployment rate among black teen-agers is around 50%. I believe that the last minimum wage increase in 2007 contributed to the high unemployment since then.

      Since the liberal schools in the inner cities are doing a bad job of educating kids, a lot of black kids are poorly qualified for a job.

      Some big businesses may support this if a lot of their low-wage workers are in other countries, so their smaller competitors mainly suffer. Companies can alos try to automate more, or hire fewer but more qualified workers. Anybody they hire at $7.25 or $9.00 has to be very productive. Coffee shops may require a college degree. If a company could hire 10 guys at $1 an hour to dig a trench by hand, or one guy with a backhoe for $30, he’d hire the 10 guys. If he had to pay the 10 guys $7.25, he’d hire the $30 guy.

  • Beata

    Where’s my proportionate raise? After all if my $1 burger goes up to $1.25, shouldn’t I be able to pay for it? It’s just like the UAW did to the automakers. Only a Union member could buy an american made car. And look where that got them. Always the low people on the totem want more “freebies”. The postal workers’ union wants all those pay raises and all those hefty pensions. Well, when they go bankrupt, who’se going to pay them? How about an across the board 1.75 raise for everyone? LOL Let’s bankrupt everyone and start over at pay for WORK!

    • Robert Smith

      “Let’s bankrupt everyone and start over at pay for WORK!”

      Yup, I can go along with that. BTW, can you explain what WORK the top 1% do?


      • GALT

        HHHmmmmm that looks the Henry Ford, $5 a day myth…….which never actually
        happened…..because it was really a union discouragement ploy…….which he
        got around by hiring “probationary” worker’s for $2.00 a day, for a six month
        trial……..then dumped them and hired other’s.

        Later after the crash, he abandoned all pretext, and hired a 1000 man army to
        discourage the union……….and protect himself……

        The roaring twenties, which saw all manner of “labor saving devices”, also
        saw the rise of “credit” to buy them……because working people could not
        afford them on what they made…… started here too…..with people
        making weekly payments…….death and injury were quite common.

        “He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future.”

        “The Rich don’t always win”

        The Occupy Wall Street protests have captured America’s political imagination. Polls show that two-thirds of the nation now believe that America’s enormous wealth ought to be “distributed more evenly.” However, almost as many Americans–well over half–feel the protests will ultimately have “little impact” on inequality in America. What explains this disconnect? Most Americans have resigned themselves to believing that the rich simply always get their way.

        Except they don’t.

        A century ago, the United States hosted a super-rich even more domineering than ours today. Yet fifty years later, that super-rich had almost entirely disappeared. Their majestic mansions and estates had become museums and college campuses, and America had become a vibrant, mass middle class nation, the first and finest the world had ever seen.

        Americans today ought to be taking no small inspiration from this stunning change. After all, if our forbears successfully beat back grand fortune, why can’t we? But this transformation is inspiring virtually no one. Why? Because the story behind it has remained almost totally unknown, until now.

        This lively popular history will speak directly to the political hopelessness so many Americans feel. By tracing how average Americans took down plutocracy over the first half of the 20th Century–and how plutocracy came back– The Rich Don’t Always Win will outfit Occupy Wall Street America with a deeper understanding of what we need to do to get the United States back on track to the American dream.

      • Don 2


        Where can I get some of that stuff you’re smoking?

      • GALT

        Forget Smoking……you need to learn to read……..and comprehend it.

        The Book is right there for you…….”functional illiteracy” sucks, I know….

        but it does explain why you keep saying NOTHING>

      • Freedom

        Suck up the hard earned minimum wage the bottom 99% make.

  • Ron r

    Since when have conservatives/ultra or not thought raising the minimum wage was a good ideal? Heck by their standards 1.25 an hour is way too much.

    • Don 2

      Minimum wage was never intended to be a living wage. Are you willing to pay $7.00 for a burger?

      • GALT
      • Don 2


        Facts? Did you read the article?

        The ‘fact’ remains that minimum wage was not meant to be a living wage.

        Why not go further and give everyone a large enough minimum wage to buy whatever they want? Why stop at $9.00 per hour? Let’s make minimum wage $30.00 per hour. Do you have a problem making minimum wage $30.00 per hour Galt, in order that everyone can have a piece of the pie, a fair shot, spread the wealth around? If you object, I’ll have to assume that you are definitely a racist.

      • GALT

        At .75 an hour, that sure looks like a living wage…..DID YOU READ THE ARTICLE?

        Minimum wage: $0.75/hour
        Gas: $0.27 or 22m
        Movie ticket: $0.48 or 38m
        Rent: $42 or 56hrs

        Median Rent for One bedroom in Vegas…..688 which at 7,.25 is just short of 95 hrs
        at 9 it drops to 76.5hrs…….thats before withholding

        Now the ideal in economic american dream terms( the dead one ) was
        housing at 20 to 25% of income…… while 56hrs is not perfect, it’s
        a lot closer than 95 hours.

        Minimum wage was a living wage back then, and families could be supported
        by one earner……teenagers were those making minimum wage, btw.

      • Don 2

        So Galt, since you didn’t answer my question, I assume that you object to a mininum wage of $30.00 per hour. You’re a left-wing racist!

      • GALT

        You can assume anything you like……in fact, you are required to “assume”,
        because without doing so, you can’t attempt the logical fallacy, which you
        just attempted………

        It has no relevance to anything I have said here today…….

        and you still keep saying nothing…….but I did like the threat part……

        I’m just mentioning it here to save time……….bye now.

  • John Mitchell

    Like it or not life obeys the supply and demand model. There is a market for cheap labor. There is a supply of cheap labor in the form of illegal aliens. When the minimum wage is artificially raised more business are pressured into the illegal activity of hiring illegal aliens instead of the more expensive minimum wage citizens. Increasing the minimum wage will result in higher unemployment of US citizens and an increase in illegal aliens.

    The fast track to citizenship will result in flooding the market with more people looking for minimum wage work. That market is already saturated. The new citizens will have to apply for welfare instead. They won’t be able to work at their previous jobs because their employers will be afraid to pay them less than minimum wage. They might turn him in. So he will lay them off in favor of illegals who need to avoid drawing attention to themselves.

    You might want to argue that you can prevent people from breaking the law but consider this. We have a heroin problem in most of our federal penitentiaries. Heroin is just as illegal there as it is in our high schools. But there is a demand for heroin in these prisons so the market place figures out a way to meet that demand. When there is supply and demand the two will find a way to get together.

    Every time the government tries to solve a problem, they only make a bigger problem. The less the government interferes in the free market the wealthier everyone will be.

    • GALT

      HHHHmmmmmm, prison, bars, inmates……and a heroin market…..sounds as
      if somebody figured out how to solve the “supply problem”……I wonder who
      that could be? Any idea’s John?

      I realize that, you are not very intelligent…..being such a hard worker, and all
      of course, one wonders……how you managed to find the time to share this
      “ignorance” with us……..and if you could elaborate MORE?

      • Walt

        Boring…boring….your comments are so sophmoric. [comment has been edited]

      • GALT

        Walt they are questions not comments, you do know what a question is?

      • John Mitchell

        Here is a question for Galt:
        What do you call a an unemployed college graduate that considers himself to be highly educated but everyone else to be ignorant?

        A socialist.

      • GALT

        So John, no clue on how they managed to solve the supply problem?

        Maybe Jared can help you with his “common logic”?

      • GALT

        BTW John Mitchell, besides Nigeria, what are the other 28 countries?

        Also, just curious, but given your area of expertise, which suggests possible
        proprietary techniques……when you “sell” yourself…..and I am assuming that given
        your “resume” you are not an unknown……how do you arrive at the appropriate
        amount of compensation for “solving” any specific problem?

        Another thought, also given the above, any efforts or interest in recovering
        “abiotic” oil?

    • GALT

      A final thought given your statement regarding “supply and demand”,

      Like it or not life obeys the supply and demand model.

      Not very accurate or properly defined, but I shall assume you are referencing,
      humans and their understanding of what is commonly believed to be
      economic theory…….since nature does NOT operate on that model.

      The correct description is largely one of perception, in that actions are based
      on the naive belief that the model is valid, so prices are determined, based
      on the “available information”, regarding the estimate of the two values, of
      any given commodity……be it labor or tulips.

      That any of this represents any realistic relationship, is dependent on the
      accuracy and availability of that information, which is subject to any
      number of other factors, all of which can be manipulated to distort
      the final outcome……making the model “invalid” and the “market”
      inefficient, despite the claims of the “priest hood” and their ‘cult”

      That this model was invalid should have been obvious from the beginning
      of civilization……and whether you are willfully ignorant of this or not,
      this simple fact is both “self evident” and “indisputable”……….every
      economy and government, regardless of what combination was attempted,
      after the rise of civilization……..has FAILED.

      The most recent re-iteration of this “invalid” theory, is covered in the brief
      exerpt from eCONned, included here…….to illuminate this more clearly,
      Adam Smith’s description of the workings and efficiencies of so called
      “free markets”…… solely on the statment which includes the following
      phrase…….”some times, as if by an invisible hand”…….the operation of
      the “market” produces “beneficial results”…………

      Adam Smith used this description exactly “one time” in the entire volume,
      and is the author of the first two quotes, of which you asked to offer an
      opinion on………..for which you had none.

      The second problem, which is another point of ignorance for most, is
      your understanding of “government” and “markets”, which is once again
      diametrically opposed to the reality……in that government makes
      the market possible…….and as noted, the result is FAILURE.

      If you have an interest in why this is the reality and how bizarre this all is
      the following volumes will explain this:

      Debt: The First 5000 Years
      Economics Unmasked

  • Robert Smith

    “Flush with the extra scratch, they will reinvest their hard-won extra wage in our growing economy, resulting in huge increases in face piercings, tattoos and energy drinks.”

    Kinda creepy, Ben. Working to create a myth of just how evil those who are struggling are to demonize them for the class war?


    • independent thinker

      RS you along with eddie, Galt, Chester, etc have NO concept of what is involved in making a business run. I worked in retail for most of my 50+ years of working. It took me exactly one increase in minimum ware to see what effect it had on the economic position of the worker. It helps NO ONE and hurts many. Those working for minimum will get the increase and prices will go up that much so they are no better off. Very few of those making over the new minimum will see an increase in their pay so they will be hurt and those on a fixed income will be devestated by the inflation caused by the rise in the minum wage and the resulting rise in prices.

    • GALT

      Which does make any sense….but you wouldn’t know why, would you….

      independant thinking requires you actually know something, first……so this
      will probably comes as a complete shock to you……

      Fundamentally, the problem is Economics itself……….a fraudulent con game, and equal to the one which pretends that the constitution still matters………..yet, for some reason, these cons are working very well………despite the fact that they are quite visible….people never seem to be able to grasp the fundamental issue’s or ask the right questions?

      Enter Economics Unmasked:The Amazon Book Description

      The economic system under which we live not only forces the great majority of humankind to live their lives in indignity and poverty; it also threatens all forms of life – indeed life itself. Economics Unmasked presents a cogent critique of the dominant economic system in order to help transform our society into one in which all forms of life will be protected. The first part of this book is devoted to showing that the theoretical constructions that have been selected, work mainly to bring about injustice. The second part is concerned with what should be the foundations of a new economics where justice, human dignity, compassion and reverence for life must be the guiding values.

      “As is clear from the title, the book argues that modern neoclassical economics is a mask for power and greed, a construct designed to justify the status quo. Its claim to serve the common good is specious, and its claim to scientific status is fraudulent. The latter is sought mainly by excessive mathematical formalism to the neglect of concrete facts and real values. The mathematical formalism is in imitation of nineteenth century physics (economics viewed as the mechanics of utility and self-interest), but without any empirical basis remotely comparable to physics. Pareto is identified a villain here, and to a lesser extent Jevons.

      The hallmark of a real science is a basic consensus about fundamentals. There is no real consensus in economics, so how can it claim to be a mature science? Easy, by forcing a false “consensus” through the simple expedient of declaring heterodox views to be “not really economics,” eliminating history of economic thought from the curriculum, instigating a pseudo-Nobel Prize in Economics, and attaining a monopoly on faculty positions in economics departments at elite universities.” Herman Daly

      “They identify what they consider to be the foundations of a new economics, which are articulations of the very core of our work here at nef:
      The economy should serve the people, not the people the economy;
      Development is about people, not objects;
      Growth is not the same as development, and development does not necessarily require growth;
      No economy is possible in the absence of eco-system services;
      The economy is a sub-system of a larger and finite system, the biosphere, hence permanent growth is impossible.” Nic Marks

      Now this subject is a bit more complicated regarding the simple question that explains what happened to the constitution ( and which people ignore and have yet to ask any of these so called “patriot” office holders and aspirants ) but really, is there anyone out there that can say that the “economy” is serving them?

      From what I can see on this site, the people who managed to escape being victims are blaming those who were the victims, mostly because they are concerned about joining them, and for some reason fail to see that the present victims, before they became victims, were just like them……….

      “To conquer, first DIVIDE!” ( and then HANG, separately.)

  • Corsica

    And what does the president consider “poor”? A lot of these $7.25/hr employees have cell phones, cable, 52″ TVs and cars.

  • Elaine

    Ben Crystal is so very right…when the minimum wage is increased the employers have to raise the price of their product to cover the cost of the salary increase; the people who didn’t get an increase in wage now have an increase in their costs….all wage increases do is put more money in to play… MINIMUM WAGE has a purpose (and it needs to be decreased) – it gives the inexperienced worker, especially teenagers the opportunity to learn some job skills. I know people living on a fixed income would like to hire the local kid to mow their lawn or rake leaves, but the kid expects the ‘minimum’ wage and the person can’t afford it. I figured this concept out when I was in my 20′s….why can’t other people understand it??????

    • GALT

      Probably because you don’t? but don’t really know, that you don’t know?

      Once you get past that……understanding might be easier for you.

    • Darwan Winkler

      Elaine says:

      “Ben Crystal is so very right…when the minimum wage is increased the employers have to raise the price of their product to cover the cost of the salary increase;”

      Well Elaine, I’m sure there is some truth to that ~ while I question the concern ~ When the top wage earners gets bonuses and get income increases does this not create inflation as well? ~ Where is the concern about inflation there?

  • mari

    Which came first, the pay raise or the cost increase??? Or is it a planned spiral-out-of- control event where everything is spinning so quickly it’s all just an economic blur? The fireworks display at the end of this show will, in fact, be us crashing and burning.

  • John Mitchell

    To answer Robs question, “What work do the top 1% do?” Well I am one of the top 1% and I work my ass off. I have worked hard my entire life. I never worked less than 60 hours a week even while going to school. I also sacrificed. I saved as much of my income as possible. I would drink nothing but water because soda and beer cost money. I drove a Datsun pick up for 18 years and lived in rundown apartments most of my life. It took me 50 years to save my first million.

    Now I run a business that I, not the government, built. I employ retired PhDs that I pay between $750 and $2500 a day. My business provides a service that helps ensure an energy secure america. I am very proud of my business and know of very few people who work as hard as me, and I know a lot of hard workers.

    There are basically two types of people as determined from the class of 56 experiment. Marshmallow grabbers and the rest of us. The class of 56 experiment followed the lives of thousands of children who would graduate from high school in 1956. They studied them from the cradle to the grave. They conducted only 1 experiment before they entered kindergarten. They offered each child a marshmallow and a choice; they could eat the marshmallow now, or wait until the researcher returns with a second marshmallow. If the first marshmallow was still there when the researcher returned the child could have both marshmallows, if he ate the marshmallow before the researcher returned then he only got one marshmallow. Most children could not delay gratification to achieve a bigger goal. Those who took the first marshmallow were labeled “marshmallow grabbers”. Those who could hold out for the second marshmallow had remarkably more successful lives than the marshmallow grabbers. They did better in school, sports, marriage, and in their careers. They also lived longer and did much better financially. It isn’t genetic, its just that we get out of life what we put into it. Most people want something they don’t have to work for and resent people who have something they don’t.

    Governments don’t create wealth they consume it. They don’t help free enterprise create wealth, they compete with free enterprise for the resources it needs to create wealth. Some government is needed. However, for a nation to survive its private sector MUST grow faster than the government. Once a government begins to grow faster than the private sector the nation collapses.

    I have worked and lived in dozens of countries all over the world. Some were very poor and some were very wealthy. The natural resources of the country had nothing to do with the wealth of the nation. Japan has practically no natural resources while Nigeria is abundant with resources. Yet Japan enjoys one of the highest standards of living while Nigeria suffers one of the lowest. Only one thing determines the wealth of a nation, the freedom of choice its citizens enjoy. America used to have more freedom than any other nation. Sadly, we have chosen to cash in our freedom in for socialism. Now we are only beginning to pay the price.

    Like all socialist nations we first cry for change. But with every change things only get worse. Finally we pray it won’t change any more as we try to get by with less and less every day.

    • momo

      Thanks John Mitchell for a great explanation!!!

    • Chylene Ramsey

      John, you are exactly why capitalism works and socialism doesn’t. Libs just don’t get it. I’ve worked all my live, and I can vouch for everything you’ve said, and I can tell these nay-sayers something else. Raises in wages don’t mean a thing. I used to work for the USPS. We hated getting pay raises, and always voted against the Union at contract time, not that the Union ever listened. Pay raises meant larger with holding taxes, less overtime, bigger payroll deductions, and mysteriously, those of us who rented found our landlords deciding a hefty rent increase was in order. Pay raises actually ended up costing us more than we gained, espeicially since, as in all such negotiations, the Union skimmed most of the cream off the top and our actual raises were nominal, usually less that 5%. Too, we weren’t dummies. We knew we were pricing ourselves out of the market, and we were career employees to a man. We were under the Teamsters Union–what did they care about our customers? All they cared about was M-O-N-E-Y.

      • GALT

        Capitalism doesn’t work……it has never worked……

        Exerpt from Econned……

        “In 1776, Adam Smith published The Wealth fof Nations. In it he argued that the uncoordinated actions of large numbers of individuals, each acting out of self interest, sometimes produced , as if by “an invisible hand,”results that were beneficial to broader society. Smith also pointed out that self interested actions frequently led to injustice or even ruin. He fiercely criticized both how employers colluded with each other to keep wages low, as well as the ” savage injustice ” that European mercantilist interests had “commited with impunity” in colonies in Asia and the Americas.

        Smith’s ideas were cherry picked and turned into a simplistic ideology that now dominates university economics departments. This theory proclaims that the “invisible hand” ensures that economic interest will always lead to the best outcomes imaginable. It follows that any restrictions on the profit seeking activities of individuals and corporations interfer with this invisible hand, and therefor are “inefficient” and nonsensical.

        According to this line of thinking, individuals have perfect knowledge both of what they want and everything happening in the world at large,and so they pass there lives making intelligent decisions. Prices may change in ways that appear random, but this randomness follows predictable and unchanging rules and is never violently chaotic. It is therefore possible for corporations to use clever techniques to reduce and even eliminate the risks associated with their business. The result is a stable productive economy that represents the apex of civilization.

        This heartwarming picture airbrushes out nearly all of the real business world.”

    • Tigg

      Well said

    • GALT

      You forgot to mention walking to school, five miles in the snow, uphill, both ways.

      I guess the first question that should have been asked was, do you know what
      work is?

      You sound like Warren Buffet, although he is probably slightly older, and he seems
      to have way more money than you, so he must have worked way harder……
      both seem equally boring.

      So you can’t afford to pay non retired PhD.s?

      And how are you providing a secure energy future? Who are your customers?
      What wealth have you created? In this business that YOU built?

      Strange that you don’t seem to know that the freedom to exploit labor is
      what you are talking about, and that you grew up and worked in the only
      period when this freedom of exploitation had been reduced to it’s lowest
      point……..working over seas would have also exempted a huge chunk of
      your income from federal taxation……..yet it took all that time to SAVE
      your first million? Warren Buffet must have worked way harder than you…
      but then he walked ten miles to school in the snow, uphill both ways…..and he
      still has his first marshmallow.

      Not that I expect you to answer any of this……because it is quite obvious
      that having worked so hard, you did not have the time to actually learn
      anything…………but in addition to the above, which of the following do you
      agree with?

      “A man must live by his work, and his wages must be at least enough to maintain him. They must even on most occasions be somewhat more: otherwise it would be impossible for him to bring up a family and the race of such workmen could not last beyond the first generation.”

      “The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state.”

      “He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past,
      controls the future.”

      • John Mitchell

        To answer Galts questions:
        Yes, I did have to walk to school in the snow. But it was less than 5 miles. None of it was uphill.

        Yes I do know what work is. I grew up in a water well drilling business then worked as a roughneck for many years. My body bears the scars and wear and tear of many years of extremely hard labor.

        No, I can’t afford to pay non retired PhDs. They can find full time work and I can only afford to pay part time work. In order to attract the quality of people I want I have to pay a very high day rate. I do most of the work myself.

        I work in 29 countries my customers are most of the worlds major oil companies and drilling contractors.

        The wealth that I have created is a deeper understanding of the science of drilling. I solve complicated drilling problems and teach others how to drill more efficiently.

        The labor that I have exploited is almost entirely my own. Fortunately for a few other lucky people, I am also able to exploit them. Most people are very happy to be exploited to the tune of $750 to $2500 a day. Especially when they can choose when, where, how, and if they want to work with me. The people I exploit constantly thank me for it. I thank my wife for exploiting me in all the loving ways that she does.

        Yes it took a long time to save a million dollars working as a roughneck and driller. I don’t envy Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet. They are certainly more fortunate than me but I am proud of what I achieved and happy with my life. I don’t resent the wealth of others.

        I make it an effort to learn something every day. The most important thing I have learned is to think for myself. I don’t ask others to take care of me. I don’t demand they give me work and I don’t ask the government to force them to pay me more. I have a smarter approach. I sell myself to my employer and to my industry. I made something of value that businesses would want. I educated myself and worked harder than everyone else. I made myself a valuable commodity. Companies wanted to hire me and promote me.

        I don’t really don’t agree with any of the three quotes you proposed.

        I believe that life is like a game of chess. No one ever really gets exactly the position he plays for. But as long as he has some end goal in mind, and he makes the best of every position he has, and every move he makes brings him closer to his end goal, then he will eventually reach it.

        I believe you have to know what you want out of life. Then you have figure out who you have to become in order to have what you want. Then you must become that person. There is no quick and easy path. It’s not as simple as reaching out and grabbing the marshmallow. You have to sacrifice and work for it. For you entire life.

        Sorry if this frustrates you. There are those of us who work for a living, and those who want a good living just handed to them on a silver platter. But when you give somebody something he didn’t earn, he doesn’t appreciate it. He even comes to resent the person who generously gave it to him. Aristotle wrote about this in his ethical treatises.

      • GALT

        Well than explains it John……..and I agree you did work hard, but in the
        end you are simply a “whore” working for “exploiters” and “destroyers”,
        so we really don’t need you….and you are not making anything more
        secure………but like I said, you were working too hard to actually learn
        anything, and you are too far gone to start now………

        BTW since you are working in foreign countries, for major oil companies,
        how do the citizens feel about the bounty you and your employers are
        providing for them………I hear the average Nigerian, doesn’t seem too pleased, but it’s probably just a “rumor” right?

        Too bad, your end….is death, was that the goal you were striving for…..

        What did you want out of life? To cause death and destruction, be totally
        boring, completely immoral…….and to be completely ignorant and unaware,
        of the actual effects of what you were doing?

        BTW you can do whatever you want……those are the rules until someone
        stops you……….or until you stop yourself……….I simply will not allow you to
        delude yourself, that you have any value…….or are providing any benefit
        to anyone……….you simply don’t know any better…..and can’t stop.

      • GALT

        Oh and John, just so you are not confused, neither Steve Jobs nor Warren
        Buffet, represents any actual value to society…….

        The only difference is in degree of “destruction”……….

      • Don 2

        John Mitchell,

        You’re a self-made man; very respectable. I enjoyed reading what you had to say, and you said it as good as anyone could.

        Galt, on the other hand, will forever be an airhead, and your valuable time is just being wasted on him. Some people cannot be reached no matter how hard you try.

      • GALT

        For Facebook Jared……

        Aw Jared….don’t worry about it, I’m not going anywhere… next time, don’t
        hold back……….feel free to demonstrate all those things that fly in the face
        of common logic…… do know there is no such thing, right?….did you mean
        common sense? ( naive realism )

        But you have a couple of books for sources……..the reg for voluntary withholding
        agreements…….and a link to the UCC…….all of which you are clueless about…..
        and you will have plenty of opportunity to show me what you got.

        It won’t be much…..but hopefully it will be better than this… for actually understanding “my views”………you would have to comprehend what you read……..if economics
        is a con game…… could I be a socialist or communist……you do understand
        that they too are economic systems? or approaches?

        What your future looks like…..just another, “willfully ignorant, functional illiterate”, who can’t help but SHARE……..but we shall see.

      • GALT

        Updated: Dec. 30, 2012

        Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and its second largest economy, as well as one of America’s top oil suppliers. Despite a return to civilian government in 1999 after a long spell of military dominance, Nigeria remains a fractious nation, divided along ethnic and religious lines.

        A watershed presidential election began peacefully in April 2011, a first for a country with a history of rigged and violent votes in the 12 years since the end of military rule. The incumbent president, Goodluck Jonathan, a mild-mannered former vice president and zoologist, won an easy election victory after a poll judged by analysts to be perhaps the country’s fairest ever.

        But the outcome turned violent. Mobs of Muslim youths in the north began rioting after the defeated opposition candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim from the north, failed to rein in his supporters. That set off a wave of retaliation against Muslims. In the end, the death toll appeared to be higher than in the previous election, when more than 300 people were killed.

        The persistent violence has been attributed to ethnic and religious tensions, discrimination by southerners against immigrants from the north, and frustration over corruption in a country where most subsist on less than $2 a day while top officials have access to billions in oil revenues.

        Overall, some 50 million youths in Nigeria are unemployed, the World Bank says, in a country of 154 million. Despite abundant oil revenues, incomes have barely budged in 30 years, life expectancy is only 48 and the country remains one of the most economically unequal in the world, according to the United Nations.

    • Chester

      In other words, John, you don’t WORK, you just sit on your behind and finance work for others, plus telling them what you want done. Try working down on the other end of the food chain for a while and see what it is like to have to worry about whether you are going to get enough hours in to pay the rent and the lights, plus put a few groceries on the table. There is a LOT of difference between what you do as a CEO and what that burger flipper does, but does that make you worth several hundred thousand times as much as him? I can’t see that, but you probably think he makes too much money now, while you don’t make enough.

      • John Mitchell

        In response to chester:
        I have worked at the other end of the food chain. While working on more than 30 drilling rigs over the past 37 years I observed an interesting phenomenon I would like to share with you.

        I call it the box of crabs syndrome. It comes from a behavior study of rock crabs in Mexico. These little rock crabs are excellent climbers and extremely quick. If you can catch one and put it in a box he will probably crawl out before you can put a lid on it. But if you put a dozen crabs in the box none of them can get out. If one crab tries to get out the others will pull him back down. If he keeps trying to get out the others will tear him apart and eat him. 12 crabs will starve to death at the bottom of a box that one could get out of.

        I saw a little bit of that behavior on every rig I worked on. People at the entry level positions were envious of the success of other and would sabotage their efforts to get ahead.

        Why do you think it is that some of us climb to the top of the food chain while most of the world just makes a living? Most of americas self made millionaires did it with hard work and sacrifice. It isn’t easy. It isn’t fast. But you get out of life what you put into it. Try whining a little less and working a little more and you just might find you enjoy life more.

      • GALT

        While you did it by working hard and sacrificing others…….

        Like your marshmallow wisdom, your crab wisdom doesn’t work either…..

        Do you know why?

      • Rich Armstrong

        John, You’re wasting your time with these two. They are the poster children for what is wrong in this country. They can’t fathom the concepts that 1. you can be doing work even if you are not getting your hands dirty or 2. that using education, experience and having the guts to stick your neck out by starting a business is what creates their jobs. You will notice that they never talk about what they do for a living which would let you drill down on how their employment is created. They just don’t get it.

      • GALT

        Wealth is created by theft… have to steal it.

        History is quite clear on this. ( ignorance of history is no excuse )

        Of course it helps if you can con others into believing that “wealth” exists?

        Clever theft is still theft!

      • GALT

        deeper than marshmallow thinking

      • Don 2


        You’re a drain on society, a waste of skin. Get a job you bum!

      • GALT

        I have what I need but thanks for your concern.

    • Freedom

      Let’s say I am a Senator, and I get with my other senator buddies. We talk it over and figure since the cost of living is so high in Washington we need to give ourselves a minimum wage raise (since we only make 85,000 a year and we need to support ourselves) to 135.000 a year. Don’t forget we get free medical. What’s really good about it is we vote on it not the population or anybody who voted. “What’s wrong with this picture?”

  • Ken Okko

    Minimum wage is simply screwy govt interferring in the market place and like most—exactly THE WRONG THING! When I hired young employees, I disregarded the minimum wage ‘laws’ and paid them what they were worth to me. The good ones worked and learned and produced and I wanted to keep them so I continued to give them raises.
    The one flake that I recall told me that starting next month I would have to pay him more because “minumum wage” has been upped. I replied that since you are not worth what I am paying you now , you are fired.
    Incidently, I learned later, that his Daddy was a union house painter but laid off over the past two years so ‘on vacation’ w/pay from his un-Constitutional union. U No Who
    Today, the whole family is – no doubt – OurBumma supporters and on welfare.

    • GALT

      Did they ever get to minimum wage? Sounds like you did not even
      have them on the books………unless you are trying to say that you hired
      them for MORE than the minimum wage……and that seems inconsistent,
      not that any of you “labor exploiter’s” can be consistent……

      Doesn’t make any sense, that a worker for whom you were disregarding
      minimum wage……would bring up the subject…….

      But then mindless rhetoric does inspire mindless rhetoric…….

    • c

      It seems to me that you are one of those people that don’t get what the minimum wage is for. If there was no wage minimum people like you would not pay people enough to even justify coming to work. Many people that need any income they can get. Would be stuck suffering with an ( I ) like you. Your only worth 1 dollar a day and that would be generous.

  • captain3292

    The proposed increase to $9/hr. from $7.25/hr. represents a 19.4% pay increase. Can anyone identify any employer (besides government workers) that would even contemplate an almost 20% salary increase? If I was a small business operator forced to do this, I could compensate with a force reduction of 20%. What is not mentioned is that the workers at this pay level also are qualified for food stamps and other entitlements which the average wage earner does not get.

    • Chester

      Well Captain, when you have done without a raise for more than a few years while all your supervisors and bosses have seen tremendous increases in their income, wouldn’t you think a minimum of a twenty per cent raise would be in order. As of now, it is four years and counting since the last raise in minimum wage, but I have yet to hear of any of the top level officers complaining about not getting raises on a regular basis.

  • alicia

    It is long over due. I have owned a small business for 31 years and have always paid my employees more than minimum wage. That’s why it bothers me so much that employers like Walmart pay so little and profit so much. If all employees who make minimum wage stayed home for one week, how much profit do you think Walmart would make. The employees make the profit for the employers, they also invest right back into the company, because they also spend their money there. Not all people that make minimum wage are dysfunctional, it is so unfair for people, like many of you readers to sit here and judge a person, because they haven’t had the opportunity for a more prosperous life. I know way to many people that work very hard, respect the law of the land and God’s word and still donate to their church. It’s time for us human beings to stop trying to dumb down the workers, and keep them in poverty. When I started working in 1973, the Government kept raising the minimum wage, so that employees could keep up with inflation. It wasn’t until the corporations started to get tax breaks for outsourcing their work oversees that people had to settle for what ever the pay scale was, regardless to the fact that inflation was rising a much, much higher pace. Stop being so ignorant. Corporation can afford to pay employees at a high rate and pay their employees insurance and still make a profit, the only difference is they won’t be billionaires just millionaires!

    • sixpacktwo

      I’m sorry alicia but you have it backwards. I do not know what kind of a business you own but unless the Business serves the Government you would have a hard time producing a product for a profit if you the owner can not control your labor costs. Just by moving it to $9 will put a lot of high schoolers out of jobs, and those jobs are where they get their business start in life. What about the hard worker who after a year of hard work just got a raise to $9?.

    • ranger09

      HOW TRUE, Years ago Corps made a decent profit, Today the profit margin has incressed 500% for these corps, Thats the problem.

  • Jon

    And don’t forget that the rise in inflation will offset the increase. That works out evenly for those receiving it, but the people laid off, retired, or who are self-employed, get it in the shorts. As usual.

  • studentbiviano4

    This is not a raise, there will be price increases with a rise in the minimum wage, as well as jobs lost. This is inflation. More money to buy the same product. The minimum wage now is plenty. A person working one hour a day can buy an entire meal at any fast food restaurant, or many frozen meals at the grocery store. A person working 2 hours, can drive around pretty much all day on $6.00 of gas, and get a full meal. A person working 8 hours in one day can 50 dollars. Take out taxes, etc. that comes to about 35. 35 dollars a day, 15 of that towards rent, that leaves you 20, 10 of that for gas, 10 of that for food. Tell me what more a person needs, food, car and home. Plus food stamps and low income housing. Jesus, what more do these bastards want???

  • alicia

    “Plus food stamps and low income housing. Jesus, what more do these bastards want???”
    All we bastards want is for the corporations to stop getting welfare with all their tax breaks and loop holes. Our taxes and hard labor keep them and obviously you living higher standards.

    • Chester

      Alicia, MOST of the people making minimum wage don’t get that low income housing. Instead, they get to rent the cheap stuff that is minimally habitable. They MAY get food stamps, but doubtful if they are working a forty hour week and have no kids. Really, you need to go TALK to the people who work for minimum wage and see what they actually do and get

      • GALT

        Most people have no clue what they are talking about when it comes
        to food stamps, the aggravation involved in getting them, or the fact that
        they must reapply on a regular basis……..

        The last time I actually had real numbers was for 2005, where a completely
        homeless person with 0 income, qualified for a monthly benefit of about
        $150……………..At $600 dollars of income, the benefit shrank to $15.

        Luxury living at it’s finest…….

  • ibcamn

    Obama’s just trying to either get the Walmart working guys vote or kill off growth!
    When i had my shop,i paid my guys well and paid insurance,when minimum wage kept going up,i just let the cleaning lady go!when prices on ins and again minimum wage and lease and pretty much everything,i just implimented a new way of filling a demand,fired every one-or made them rent a spot from me in the shop(which lead to more problems amungst all in the shop)but it made it possible to keep my doors open!!and kept me from raising my prices to where no one would come into my shop!

  • LK4Mitt

    1.75 on 7.25 is a 24% increase in pay….how many other employees are getting a 24% increase this year? Heck, how many have gotten anything? If they implement this new minimum wage, then they need to adjust their calculations for all the freebies since the Big O thinks that is a living wage. I do not disagree that maybe there should be an adjustment, but 24%…that’s a little unrealistic. Dont they see that if they give them that amount, prices will rise so much that their new found minimum wage will still not buy them any more than what they could before they got the raise. Supply and Demand…..get all the new business regs out of the way and let business’s do what they do best. Get the economy rolling again, and there will be a way for increased wages to work for everybody.

    • independent thinker

      “Dont they see that if they give them that amount, prices will rise so much that their new found minimum wage will still not buy them any more than what they could before they got the raise. ”

      That is exactly right. I worked in retail for most of my working career and one of my responsibilities was seeing that price changes were done. Every time the minimum wage went up I had to oversee increasing the counter prices on the merchandise in my area.

      • ranger09

        All this is going to do is put more small companys out of business, Some companys JUST cannot raise their prices to meet the incress it will cost them, GOING to allow the major corps to benifit from the small companys going out of Business.Also will allow them to incress their prices so all the public has to absorb the costs.

      • GALT

        Well it seems “mindless rhetoric” needs some extra help today……posts are
        now moving all over the place………

        And Ben seems to sharing more these days………

        I really can’t see him being a big draw……..

      • Dennis48e

        yeah Galt you have posted a weeks worth of mindless retoric in response to just this one article.

      • GALT

        Really? You all seem to be complaining about the government……

        What should be here, was the solution to that problem…….

        All you had to do was read and act. ( government would be a problem
        no longer )

        and you would have nothing to complain about……..

        now you have to scroll down……but you won’t do anything…….

        Which is why it is called “mindless rhetoric”………..

  • Tony Ruiz

    Have you all neglected to learn that obama is a muslim with his half black heart set on our destruction? How can all these little conversations continue, like fiddling while rome burns…in light of the fact that we are being dismantled, dismembered and dissected by this illegal ‘president’ that congress failed to defend us from. We need to refocus on the enemy, not his little step by step actions and lack of action. We need to go after him! Period!

    • the fisherman

      [personal attack has been removed.]

  • R.F.

    I guess that’s about $14 extra for a full days work. $14. And all of that would simply be spent in the market place one way or the other. You joke about it going to a piercing or a tattoo but those are small businesses that you are supposed to admire so much.

    • Steve9515

      Good article! But ya gotta admit Obama made this one easy. Ben, you have a great sense of humor, but sometime you do divert the discussion in a negative way with humorous comments like about how the youth may spent their money. There are many honest hard working people of all ages on minimum wadge. They are not all young foolish spenders.

      Again, great points.

  • Terry Bateman

    We have heard that the 150,000 jobs a month the economy has been producing for the
    last year are mostly minimum wage jobs. Obama raised the minimum wage earlier in
    his administration to the current level. There goes the theory that increases in minimum
    wage decrease the amount of minimum wage jobs.

    • Steve9515

      Terry, you need to develop your point better. I do not see a connection in your comments that would support the notion that raising the minimum wage is a good thing. Also remember, as others have pointed out, Obama is talking about a 24% raise this time! So this alone may make your point invalid.

      • Terry Bateman

        Steve9515: Better pay means less employee turnover, happier and better employees-
        which reduces costs and increases revenues for the employer.
        . Henry Ford paid his workers
        enough so they could easily buy his cars that they built. In my opinion, Wal-Mart
        would save enough money through sharply reduced employee turnover if they paid
        better wages and benefits to pay for the increased costs of the increased pay and

      • GALT

        Actually, that was a PR stunt to avoid union problems, so that while some
        of his workers did get $5, what he DID do was set up an apprentice program
        which paid $2 and change, with a six month trial, and simply replaced them
        at the end of it………..while I suppose it is common to refer to these jobs as
        “skilled” labor…….they were hardly that.

        ( the union problem was for him the threat of being unionized )

        Ironically, his statement does make economic sense……unfortunately he neither
        believed or meant it…….nor did any of the other plutocrats of his time,or any
        other time before that……….

        Most of you have been sold a bill of goods regarding “history” from the
        “founders forward” and in every instance, the “plutocrats” have managed to
        pit victim against victim…….where in the only victory available, is that
        the next guy, suffers worse than you……..and the comments here indicate,
        that once again……it’s working like a charm.

        Sadly, most of you have benefited from the only period in American history
        when this was not true……and in your ignorance of the past, you have handed
        it all back…… such an extent, that you are far worse off than those
        who struggled before you and far more vulnerable………

        “He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past
        controls the future.”

  • Peter

    Sorry Ben, this is utter garbage just like so many of your other musings.

    I quote: “JOHN SCHMITT, via Dan Beeton,, Senior economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Schmitt wrote the new paper “Why Does the Minimum Wage Have No Discernible Effect on Employment?” which finds “modest increases in the minimum wage — such as the one proposed by President Obama in his State of the Union address — have little impact on employment, due to adjustments by employers and workers.”
    Schmitt said today: “This is one of the most studied topics in economics, and the evidence is clear: modest minimum wage increases don’t have much impact on employment. An increase to $9 per hour would be hugely important for the workers getting it, but the idea that this would lead to less employment is just not supported by the evidence.”
    “Congressional proposals to raise the minimum wage to above $10 per hour or President Obama’s call for a minimum wage of $9 per hour are well within the range of historical increases and would still leave low-wage workers behind reasonable historical benchmarks based on cost-of-living or productivity growth.”

    So Ben, you speak with forked tongue…as usual.

    • GALT

      Indexed for inflation tied to 1961, the appropriate minimum wage would be over $10.

      I think ole Ben has been drafted for greater service, and given the poverty of
      intellect and the lack of credibility……..of the faux liberty movement, acting as
      a distraction for the plutocrats…… bizarre these offerings will get, is up
      for grabs.

      What is fascinating is that no matter how absurd the claims, or illogical
      the construction……the level of stupidity amongst this particular segment
      of society is truly miraculous.

      The ease at which this childish illusion is maintained, would make any
      aspiring practitioner believe, they were capable of the most astounding

      The best is yet to come……

      “He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the
      past, controls the future.”

    • jase

      yep reading the works of an economist sounds great, but every time there has been a wage hike one of two things happens, or a little bit of both. Inflation, or underemployment. It is rare that a company will fire just for wage increases, but they will raise their prices, and they will cut back first on things like overtime, then on scheduled time. any one who was up for a raise just got it so they are back at the bottom with the rest of their chums. i have been the victim twice of minimum wage hikes, and back in those days milk was $1.75 per gallon. Now as much as $6. Hmmm i guess that works out. for a few weeks i took home a little more, then my hours shrank, and those around me who had been there several years now made exactly what i made, and none of our money went as far. The company i worked for the second time cut cornors to make ends meet. I reamained unhappily employed at part time minimum wage until i got lucky and found another job, so then i could work two minimum wage part time jobs to make a living. When you don’t let the market bare what it can inflation and joblessness are inevetable. Saying that raising the minimum wage is not damaging, well maybe in the short run, the very short run, but just like saying “best new car in initial quality” all cars will drive off the lot new, it doesn’t mean it will ride a few years down the road.

      • GALT

        Which economists have you been reading?

        Do you accept that “economics” is a valid science ( can be empirically verified )
        or discipline? ( either by 1.) demonstrating orderly or prescribed conduct
        or pattern of behavior. or 2.) consists of a system of rules governing conduct
        or activity that produce results that are reliably predictable. )

        While I can appreciate your anecdotal evidence based on your experience,
        it does not support the conclusion your are struggling for…..and while you
        identify the “culprit” correctly…….inflation…….much of the rhetoric here,
        presumes knowledge of both causes and effects, as well as solutions, based
        on them……..which can not be supported because they are not valid, and
        in most cases simply reflect the “perceived self interest” of the party
        offering the opinion.

        In this sense, your anecdotal evidence, is useful in that while you only
        provide two examples, the actions of your employer, was different, again
        governed by their “perceived self interest”.

        One of the arguments attempted for those opposing this action was a
        logical fallacy stating that if $1.75 was good, raising the minimum wage
        to $9., why not raise it to ( some absurd figure ) $19 or $25 or $35.

        Any number of analogies can be offered to demonstrate why this doesn’t
        make any sense……..but it does have the virtue, if accepted of magnifying
        the dire consequences predicted of the effects of the actual raise.

        Your evidence, which suggests a temporary improvement, followed by a
        rise in prices……….to compensate, seems to suggest also, the futility of
        even making the attempt………..which provides us with the opportunity,
        to apply the same fallacy above, in the opposite direction……having
        established a minimum wage of any amount……why ever raise it?
        So, who would benefit if say starting at $1.00/hr , it had never moved
        from this point?

        Would this prevent “inflation”? No……which brings us back, to the
        primary argument and the determination of the actual causes and the
        proper responses to it………..

        What is “interesting” about Mr. Crystal’s series of dire downward
        spiraling effects……..which are entirely dependent on the actual
        actions of the various business and the choices they will make….
        is that…..

        1.) We have been enduring these effects since the crash.
        2.) This is precisely what will happen, if the “we have a spending
        problem” people win and austerity is the chosen path.
        3.) Regardless of which path is taken, businesses will fail, because
        they are not prepared and have not been managed correctly to “anticipate”
        these conditions.

        Which brings us to why all of this, provoked by Mr Crystal and the subsequent
        discussion is essentially “mindless rhetoric”……..especially for this site.

        Isn’t competition, via free market capitalism supposed to produce winners
        and losers, based on the proper responses to market conditions?

        Why is “failure” a bad thing if it is caused by “government action to raise
        the minimum wage” ( or other factors which improve conditions for workers )
        but a good thing if caused by austerity measures, also caused by
        government action?

        I’m sure that someone appreciates the ease by which “the victims” can
        be so easily distracted from the actual cause of their problems……so
        that they can blame one another……..meanwhile…..

        Do you accept that “economics” is a valid science ( can be empirically verified )
        or discipline? ( either by 1.) demonstrating orderly or prescribed conduct
        or pattern of behavior. or 2.) consists of a system of rules governing conduct
        or activity that produce results that are reliably predictable. )

        The answer to the above is NO……and the sooner you accept this, and
        make the effort to understand why this is true…….the sooner the
        “economy” will start serving you…….instead of you serving it.

        “He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the
        past, controls the future. “

        • jase

          Though eeconomics could be a valid science, using short tem short sighted and slanted statistics is not the way to draw a conclusion. Competition via the free market isn’t supposed to produce anything other than a free economy in which people will find their way into their comfort areas. No winners no losers, because it not a competition, true some of us will compare our selves to others and want to be “over” the next guy, but in reality it is about having the ability to regulate your own path. Setting any minimum wage will only cause a devaluation in the society where it is imposed. This is not the only factor, but since this is what the artical is about it was the focus of my previous statements.
          in reality you are right, we have a spending problem, and many many more that any artical shot of 40,000 words would fail to capture. Raising minimum wage is one factor in a much bigger picture on inflation. But why add coal to the fire? Because it buys one more vote?
          You want to know that inflation only exsist in two forms fiat currency and imposed demands. The raisng of minimum wage is ONE factor in raising inflation on fiat currency. The imposed demands are a little more of the supply vs demand model of economics.
          so lets go….
          the free market capatilst economy in its best is not creating winners or losers, it is creating winners. (note at its best) it provides a level playing field that allows growth of true wealth, the more true wealth there is the more everyone prospers. It allows the freedom to attain your goals weather they be modest, or lofty. Now with that said, What drives the free market? unfortunately too many principals to list, but here are a few.
          1. debt equals profit, a bank loans money at interest.
          2. fiat currency. the ability of governments to produce money that has no backing other than debt devalues that currency.
          3. immorality, some view free market as a competition instead of the natural force that it is.
          4. natural market cycles. Some economist look at the over 600 year history of banking in the western world and sees the natural 10 to 12 year cycle of boom and recession, with evry 75 or so years depression and call it a natural market cycle, some call it consumer confidence cycle/
          5. imposed demands, tullips in Holland, land in Florida, Stocks in the roaring 20′s. the insatiable pulic demand made by the world of marketing and fads.
          6. Marketing, make the people want it, and they will buy it.
          7. true value of metals. recent booms in the precious metal’s markets looks like a boom in a sector, this is only true if is an imposed demand (see 5) but in reality metal has changed very little in true value through out history. If you bought a model T back in the day you would pay $240 dollars, or about 12 oz of gold, and today you could buy a nice Honda for about $19200, which is aobut 12 oz of gold. The inflation is only on the fiat currency, true values of items remain very close to similar. and i could give hundreds of examples going back to the Roman empire.
          8. manipulation of markets. The rich buy the politicians and make policy that is favorable to them. Do i even have to go there?
          9.manipulation of the banking system. Federal reserve banking in England has influnced economy for over 400 years. and here drastically for 100 plus years.
          10.manipulation of the markets through the worker class. Unions, the minimum wage the voters who see gaurnetees of money for their positoin as a right of some sort. they vote those who will do things like raise the minimum wage, and promote union rights.
          11. Self interest. we as humans tend to be ego centric, and look at things from a personal point of view, that is why people use parabels and anecdotes, stories to make a point. and that self interest makes the economy personal, and driven by personal needs.
          12 this could go on and on and on. Education, values, morality, locations, weather patterns, deminishing resources, new technologies, government intervention, lack of government intervension… blah blah blah ba blah…

          So what does all this mean?
          Do i accept economics as avalid science? only as much as sociology, because the human animal is involved. trends can be sited, but rules are mushy at best.

          but back to the orginal premis, does raising minimum wage help to drive inflation? yes
          does raising minimum wage hurt job growth and developement? yes
          is raising minimum wage the only thing that influences these things? not by a long shot.

          So to your querey “Why is ‘failure’ a bad thing if it cause by ‘government action to raise the minimum wage’…” the govenment has no rights to cause any harm. they are here to administer the rules of society, not to dictate them. When a business fails, all the persons involved in that business suffer, worker and stock holder.

          We have now taked a simple article slanted one way then slanted the other by comments and pulled the typical falacy of “the problem is…” not one thing is the problem, but several things, so improve the workers situation for a short time do some damage, it won’t affect me, or will it? i have found my way in this economy, and the government is currently legislating the heck out of our industry, so we are moving overseas where we are appriciated. and taking good jobs from these United States. Government interfearance in economy has not ended well yet. So i am inclined to postulate that it won’t end well this time either. The only way to truely win in any economy is the pricipals of self reliance, and personal responsability. Live within your means, live determinned, and do no harm.

          though i could go on for many many more hours with this i do have a job and will get to it now. :)

      • GALT

        Good….don’t quit any of your jobs. In fact, since you had the free time to
        write that and chose to do so, you clearly have too much free time on your
        hands……..and it should not be used, writing about that which you have
        no knowledge of……..and a remedial reading course is urgently recommended.

        though i could go on for many many more hours

        Thank you for not doing so, because when you begin with:

        Though eeconomics could be a valid science,

        You actually had nothing to say in the first place.

        Sad thing is…..this applies to almost everyone here………why do you all
        insist on “sharing”?

        • jase

          I share because i care.

          and because until self riotous smug liberals who think they know better than everyone else get their way is still have freedom of speach.

          sorry i didn’t spell check everything before disagreeing with you :)

      • GALT

        Like the typical “willfully ignorant, functional illiterate” you waste time
        attempting to “label”……and dismiss, that which you can not argue…..
        and you are foolish enough to believe that the “label” alone is argument.

        You come HERE, to be fed those things which you already believe and
        are too foolish to know where you are or why those feeding you are
        HERE, feeding you………

        YET among all the people that you queue up to listen to or believe
        can save you, not a single one has pointed you toward the single source
        of information which will empower you so that you can reclaim, what you
        have voluntarily given up……………for two reasons.

        1.)They can not make any money off of this information without taking a risk,
        so there is no “profit” to be gained.

        2.) Once you have the information, you do not require anything else. You
        can choose to act or not, but you have always had the power to free
        yourself and even if you do not act, you will at least KNOW what has been
        done……….and have a better understanding of why things are the way
        they are……….

        After you absorb this, if you are not totally delusional, you need to ask
        yourself why…….this is being completely ignored, by those people
        you think are champions of liberty and the constitution, but have neglected
        to mention the information you have just been directed to…….

      • Carolyn

        And when you have worked hard to get a raise to above min wage and now the person who got the raise for nothing — you get together with the others in your pay scale to demand a raise.

    • Freedom

      I’m trying to figure out how somebody makes a statement to the effect of saying that he will raise minimum wage rate to $9.00 an hour andmake sure everybody who is working full time gets health insurance. What happens there is at $7.25 in forty hours is $290.00, with out health insurance. Employers think if I have to pay for insurance for my full time employees than I will cut their hours back to 30 to make part time, then I won’t have to pay for the insurance. Of course then my part timers will be making $9.00 an hour for 30 hours a week, which means I won’t be paying out as much in wages, ($270.00) Smart move.


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